View Full Version : Simple Clean & Press program needed

jort Kramer
01-04-2014, 07:04 AM

i'm a waterpolo players and i started lifting weights with some guys of my team. We got some strength and nice results but we got curious about the olympic lifts. I noticed that olympic lifters have strong legs, back and shoulders which are the 3 key muscle groups for waterpolo. Unfortunately we dont have the right gym to do snatches (no bumper plates and boxes) My question is: can someone help me with a 2 day/week Clean & Jerk program for in season. and a 3 day/week program for off season?

every little piece of help is appreciated :D


Jort Kramer

Greg Everett
01-06-2014, 03:20 PM
If you can't do the classic lifts (snatch/CJ), you can probably still get away with power cleans, power snatches and power jerks in whatever facility you're in. Something very simple would be:

Day 1
Power Clean + Power Jerk 5x2(1+1)
Clean Pull 5x3
Back squat 5x5

Day 2
Power Snatch 5x3
Snatch Pull 5x3
Front Squat 5x3

Start with weights that are relatively easy (as in you can do all reps well - not so easy it's a waste of time, though), and add weight each week as you can for 3-4 weeks at a time, then drop the weights 10-15% for a week, and start the process again higher than the last block started.

jort Kramer
01-07-2014, 03:47 AM
Thanks alot! for us power is more important than the full lifts, so power version are a good idea! the only problem we have with snatches is that we cant drop the bar. we dont have bumper plates :( for sure i can do the snatch pull. maybe just do snatch pulls and add 1 more pressing movement instead of the power snatch?

Javier Sanjuan
01-07-2014, 09:48 AM

While technique is extremely important during the lifts, you will want/need to increase the weight as you begin to develop a solid motor pattern. Therefore, it will benefit you to get to a facility that does have bumper plates, even if that means a little traveling if you plan on doing this two days a week. If you continue to train with, say, 60 kg in a power clean and and jerk, you're eventually going to get so used to that weight that your body will not benefit from the movement. Also, as you increase in weight, you will eventually have to go into the full lift given the nature of being able to power one weight and then have to go into a full squat for the next. It is important to learn the full lifts because at max effort, you're putting a lot of strain on the knees and hips to stop the weight from going any lower. Some days you may be able to stop the weight; on other days, your body is going to want to ride down into the full squat, so it's important that you're familiar and comfortable with, and flexible enough for the full movement. Should you increase the frequency that you train to three or four days a week, you're going to start to start feeling the effects of stopping weights in a power position all the time.

Lastly, doing pulls is great, but you're missing out on the full effect that the classic lifts offer if you cut out them out of your training, be it power or full lift. Again, I recommend that you maybe consider traveling to a gym equipped with the right stuff. If you can't get there, then your course of action is suitable, but I would recommend you stick with snatching and substitute the power clean and jerk with a clean pull and separate press motion since cleans tend to be heavier and harder to control on the way down.

Hope this helps!


jort Kramer
01-07-2014, 12:50 PM
thanks. i just did day 1 and it felt really great.
did 40-50-60-65-65 kg on power C&J i think i might be able to do all 5 with 60 kg after a good warm up.
80 kg with Clean puls and 60-70-80-90-90 with back squats. :)

(still low numbers but it felt great :o)

I wont go to another gym, i really like this one (olympic lifting is not the only thing we do) the only problem here are the snatches, if i fail with the clean it wont fall high, if i fail with the jerk i can prolly make sure it wont fall that hard. but with the snatch i think it will be a lot harder to control the bar if i cant hold it. Maybe i can control a light(er) weight used for the power versions.

as far as technique goes, we are always with 2 or more so we coach each other the best way we can :)

anyway, thanks for the help so far! tomorrow is rest day and day after we will see how it goes with day 2. i will post the results :p

Javier Sanjuan
01-08-2014, 07:46 AM

It sounds like you have a good approach. Keep us posted on your progress!


jort Kramer
01-10-2014, 08:09 AM
yesterday was day 2 :) to be honest my snatch technique is bad :p only managed to power snatch 45 kg for 3 reps. my pulls are kinda strong, but as soon as the bar reaches overhead im pressing instead of dropping under it. Snatch pulls felt great though :) 65 kg i think and 75 kg on the front squat :)

anyway thanks for the program, i thought i wouldnt be pressing enough, but my shoulders feel really used :P

jort Kramer
02-19-2014, 09:08 AM
So far so good in the program, still having hard time during the snatches (very stiff shoulders) Made good progress on the squats :) did easy 3x100kg on back squat and fairly easy 5x3x75kg front squat. Power cleans are oke, i can easily clean 65kg for multiple reps, but the 2 jerks are the hard part. i quess i need pressing strength. As far as the snatch goes, im also picking up some overhead squats to get comfortable in such a position, but my shoulders and lats are extremely stiff.(gotta love water polo.....) Do you guys know some great stretches i can do? atm im doing shoulder dislocations with bands.

thanks anyway.

Jort Kramer

Blake Barnes
02-19-2014, 05:06 PM
Make sure your pecs are stretched out. If you have access to a foam roller, you can roll out your arm pit (subscapularis and all the other good stuff in there) to help you open up and get a comfortable overhead position as well as your upper back to help retract the shoulder blades.

If you don't have one, I would suggest getting one of your own.

jort Kramer
02-19-2014, 10:01 PM
Thanks for the reply!

i was planning to get a foamroller anyway. i like them :) Will stretch and roll and we'll see what happens. Will keep you updated :D

jort Kramer
03-03-2014, 08:10 AM

still making progress :) but its not long till the game season is over and i want to pick up an extra day of lifting when i can. So the question: what would be good (and simple) 3 day program including: Squat(variations), deadlift/heavy pulls, Pull ups (key for swimming) power oly lifts? (maybe dips? i like dips alot)

Just a basic 3 day split including those lifts would help alot.


Jort Kramer

Blake Barnes
03-03-2014, 04:17 PM
Maybe just continue with what Greg had for you and then add a Day 3:

-Pull ups
-Any other exercises you like a lot

Include the same periodization concept he talked about with the other exercises.

jort Kramer
03-04-2014, 06:53 AM
Haha thanks, dont know why i didnt think of that. :o

thanks for the replies. really appreciate it!


Jort Kramer

jort Kramer
04-25-2014, 09:43 AM

im still following the program Greg gave me and making good progress. i really feel like the overhead training helps me with my sports. So thank you!

Im also watching the catalyst athletics youtube videos and i noticed that when i snatch, my bar isn't touching my hip like the athletes in the videos do. Even when i grip the bar from collar to collar, the bar hits me right in the man parts. What can i do to solve this problem? i was thinking about narrowing the grip just a bit so i make contact high on the upper thigh. Any advice would be helpful.


Jort Kramer

Blake Barnes
04-25-2014, 02:31 PM
This may be from trying to initiate the extension too soon and possibly shooting your hips too far forward at the same time.

If you can, try to submit a video so we can have a look.

diaz janne
04-25-2014, 06:24 PM
success for your game jort... :)

jort Kramer
04-26-2014, 04:35 AM
I will see what i can do. i might be able to get a good video of the problem. But what i mean is, even when i stand with the bar in my hands from collar to collar. Its right in front of my man parts. (i have really long arms and short torso, so that might be part of the problem) And of course my technique is bad :P anyway i hope i can get a good video of it next week!


Jort Kramer

jort Kramer
05-01-2014, 02:18 PM
@Diaz, thanks :) im making good progress with lifting and water polo so my game is going really well :)

@Blake, I tried to extend a bit later and i shrugged a bit before full extension. This solved all of the problems and im "hitting" my hips right where i want to :) Snatches i had hard time with earlier felt really easy and comfortable now. Thank you for your advice!


Jort Kramer

jort Kramer
06-14-2014, 04:42 AM
Really getting to like snatches now :) (and lifting in general). Did some testing this week and PR-ed my power snatch to 47,5 for a triple and 80kg power clean & jerk for a single @78 kg bodyweight. Still not that much but it felt awesome to hold more than i weigh overhead :D

anyway this was just an update for anyone interested :o i will post another update in like 2 months or so :)


Jort Kramer

Blake Barnes
06-17-2014, 02:46 PM
Awesome! Good job!

jort Kramer
07-02-2014, 02:24 AM
Good news and bad news

good news is: I moved to another waterpolo club the play higher level and their coach wanted me in the team. :D

bad news: they practice a lot more (kinda good news) which leaves me with a lot less time for oly lifting (or strength in general) i already bought my own equipment to train at home (don't have the time next season the go to the gym)

Here is my training schedule for next season:

Monday: off
Tuesday: 20 min core circuit + 90 min waterpolo practice (hardest training of the week)
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 60 min waterpolo practice (kinda light, more technique focus)
Friday: 20 min core circuit + 90 min waterpolo practice (not as hard as tuesday)
Saturday: Waterpolo game
Sunday: off

now my question to you is: what will be a good time to practice some oly lifting to maintain my strength in season. off season can easily train harder and get my strength up. i just want to maintain it in season.

i was thinking about this:
sunday: snatch, clean & Jerk, front squat (just to keep strength up)
monday: some pull ups and hand balancing to keep the shoulders healthy (nothing that heavy. no legs on monday, i really need them tuesday ;) )

i hope you can help me. i still want to practice oly lifting cause i really like it and it really helps me in the water :)

anyway, this post is getting long :o


Jort Kramer